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Building Westminster Bridge

BridgeBuildAnim

Westminster Bridge, here looking well on the way to completion. It was officially opened on the 29th of July, 1961, so I would guess that this photo was taken sometime during the winter before that, which would account for the coats people are wearing.

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Westminster Road, Conservative Club

WestminsterRdCon

The Conservative Club, seen here in the 1960s, was knocked down and the land used for residential flats. The old Westminster Inn, situated behind the old club, was taken over and opened as the new Conservative Club in February of 2009.

Civic Hall Foundation Stone

CivicHallFoundation

In 1953, people don’t seem to be as aware of cameras as they are now, so Horace Black is seen here standing in the way of some of the writing on the foundation stone. That writing is now quite weathered and difficult to read from this angle, so I took a photo of it straight on.

CivicHallFoundation

Whitby Hall

WhitbyHall20sAnim

Whitby Hall is now a multi-purpose centre mainly used for arts development for young people but, when the first picture here was taken in the 1920s, it was still in private hands. It belonged to the Grace family, and the pub on the other side of Stanney Lane still bears their name.
The Urban District Council bought the hall from John Grace in 1931 and it was the administrative centre for Ellesmere Port, until the early 1990s, with the gardens being turned into a public park.

Station Hotel, 1909

StationHotel2Anim

The first picture here was taken in 1909, which was also the year that the extension on the right was built.

Westminster Road, from Church Street

WestminsterRoadChurchSt

Railway Station & Level Crossing

LevelCrossing3

The first photo in this animation was probably taken in the late fifties, as the cattle arch on the right is in full use, and I can’t see any sign of work starting on the bridge. Baird’s is visible too (the building beyond the cattle arch, with the Capstan advert painted on the side), and that was demolished in preparation for building.
The second photo isn’t quite from the same angle, because that same bridge is in the way, but I hope the animation gives a flavour of how much has changed.

Christchurch Overgrown

Christchurch
I’ve been struggling to get new photos of this church that match the older ones because, as you can see here, there are a lot of trees in the way. Walking around this church, it can seem like you’re out in the countryside. It doesn’t feel abandoned though. The church is in use again, and the graveyard is well tended, and the trees, generally a good thing anyway, help to muffle the noise from the nearby motorway. It would be churlish to complain that they get in the way of my camera!

Fidling’s Music Shop, Station Road

fidlings

My first records came from Fidling’s but, until I saw this old picture, I had completely forgotten about it. That was in the very early 1970s, long after the building of Westminster Bridge, so it seems that this part of town was still quite active, even after the newer shops were built on the “Co-op Fields”.

Christchurch, from Station Road

ParishChurch

Another view of Christchurch, and the first picture is a bit earlier than the previous one I posted.┬áIn this one the hedge hasn’t yet grown, and you can see in the churchyard there are no graves, so I suspect that the photo was taken in the 1870s, not long after the church was built.

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